BY BILAL SABRI
ISLAMABAD: The citizens of twin cities were irked by the traffic plan issued by Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) on Monday in connection with Pakistan Day in which many main highways will remain closed.
Police claimed that the traffic plan is to ensure the traffic flow by giving alternate routes to the commuters of twin cities on Pakistan National Day Parade 2018.
However, on March 19, the citizens of twin cities suffered much due to the traffic which remained jam for hours due to blockage of some main roads, especially in office and school hours, as part of the security plan and full dress rehearsal.
“The authorities have to mull over the situation as the security and traffic plan have become a headache for people. How can anyone call it a ‘plan’ which paralysed the traffic flow of twin cities for hours,” a resident Abid Gul of Sector I-8/2 said.
The Islamabad administration in connivance with local police and traffic police has also finalised a security plan for Pakistan Day parade in which eight helicopters have been arrayed for the aerial view of parade venue for security.
As part of the security plans for Pakistan Day, heavy vehicles will not be allowed entry into the federal capital on March 21 and 23 from 12 am to 2 pm.
Police officials told Pakistan Today that the ban will start at midnight on March 21 and trucks and other heavy vehicles heading for Islamabad will be diverted. The smaller vehicles coming from Lahore can enter Peshawar GT Road or Motorway via the Rawat T-Cross through Rawalpindi Saddar Road.
The Faizabad Interchange that connects to the parade venue will be closed, however, to all the traffic on March 21 and 23.
Moreover, the traffic coming from the airport to Islamabad would be diverted from Khanna Pul to Lehtrar Road, Park Road, Rawal dam Chowk and then Kashmir Highway. The traffic going toward Benazir Bhutto International Airport can use 9th Avenue, Murree Road and Rawal Road.
Servicemen with metal detectors and sniffer dogs will also be deployed to check for suspicious elements and movements.
Islamabad Highway from Khanna Pul to Faizabad, Faisal Avenue from Zero Point to Faizabad, and Murree Road from Rawal Dam Chowk to Faizabad would remain closed from 5am to 2pm on March 21 and March 23.
In addition, 50 religious seminaries and shrines and 20 hotels and marriage halls located in the proximity of three kilometres of Parade Ground near Faizabad have been directed to suspend their educational and business activities and vacate the buildings till March 23 parade.
The directives were issued by the police to the owners and the management to remain closed from 6 am to 2 pm on March 21 and 23.
Moreover, 646 personals of Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) including one superintendent of police (SP), four deputy superintendents of police (DSP), 23 inspectors and other officials would be deployed to guide motorists to alternative routes to keep sections of the Kashmir Highway and Islamabad Highway around the parade venue clear of traffic.
According to the police spokesperson, as many as 2,000 Islamabad police personnel including those from special branch were planned to be deployed at various important spots including Kachnar Park for strict vigilance over any abnormal movement and its quick response.
These elaborate security measures are being put in place to ensure traffic flow and to avoid any untoward incident.